UPDATE: 9:30 AM EST
A train crash that killed six in New York is being called the deadliest accident in the history of the Metro-North system, NBC reports.
Five individuals perished on the northbound train when it crashed into a Jeep on Tuesday night. The driver of the sports utility vehicle was also killed and another 15 injured in the collision.
“You have seven people who started out today to go about their business, and aren’t going to be making it home tonight,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Tuesday night near the scene of the 6:30 p.m. crash in Valhalla, about 30 miles north of Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan. “It’s a painful reminder to all of us how precious life is, and sometimes how random it can be.”
Cuomo gave the revised death toll of six in an interview with NY1, a local cable news channel. Authorities had said on Tuesday that seven people were killed. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.
The accident occurred when a railroad crossing gate came down on top of the Jeep as it sat on the tracks.
The driver got out, checked the rear of the vehicle, and then she got back in and drove forward and was struck by the train, the agency said.
An investigation continues:
The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a team of investigators to the crash site. MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said the train’s event recorder should help to piece together the circumstances surrounding the crash.
Deborah Hersman, the former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said that trains such as the ones that crashed generally have devices that record speed, throttle position, braking patterns and bells and whistles.
“Numerous” deaths have been reported after a Metro-North passenger train hit a car this evening in Valhalla, New York, along with 12 more injured.
The site reports:
The northbound Harlem Line train struck a Jeep Cherokee on the Commerce Street crossing around 7:08 p.m., according to the MTA.
The crossing’s gates came down on the vehicle as it stopped on the tracks, the MTA said. The female driver got out of the Jeep to look at the car, then got in and drove forward, the MTA said.
The train pushed the Jeep about 10 car lengths before coming to a stop, after which it caught fire. The driver of the Jeep was killed, as well as passengers on the train. Twelve were injured, officials said.
Hundreds of passengers in the other train cars quickly evacuated, with the front of the train appearing to be completely burnt out. The fire spread to the first two cars, as passengers opened the emergency doors to jump out onto the tracks.
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A passenger told the Journal News:
“My first thought was that it was a signal error. There was a bit of confusion on the train. We all kind of shuffled to the back,” he said. “People just started opening windows (to get out).”
The Harlem Line service is now suspended between White Plains and Pleasantville. We pray for those who have lost their lives in this tragedy.
SOURCE: BuzzFeed | PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram